Album Review: Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys – My Chemical Romance

In the early 2000s, the music scene was rapidly changing. Along with those changes came the creation of several bands in a newer style of music – pop-punk. My Chemical Romance, formed in 2001, was at the forefront of the change. With a harsher sound than Fall Out Boy, or, a bit later, bands like All Time Low and Panic! At The Disco, MCR’s sound bordered on post hardcore. Garnering a large fanbase, the band was quickly on the rise. In 2010, MCR released their fourth official album, entitled Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys. The album cover, pictured above, features the silhouette of a spider in a desert scene – and based off of the music videos, this desert seems to be the setting for the album. Starting with a song entitled Look Alive, Sunshine (really more of an intro) you hear a character called ‘Doctor Death Defying’ introduce himself as a kind of announcer or radio controller. Leading straight into the first technical song, Na Na Na [Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na], you hear Dr. Death Defying exclaim, “Killjoys, make some noise!”. Not only does the lyric tie into the album title, but it has created the longterm name for the band’s fanbase (Killjoys). Featuring the powerful, harsh guitars and drums that contribute to MCR’s unique sound, as well as lead singer Gerard Way’s memorable vocals, the album is sure to be memorable. The next track, Bulletproof Heart, starts off a bit slower, with a futuristic, electronic sound. SING, the fourth track, has very clear piano and tambourine, causing an epic, almost ethereal sound. The lyrics tend to make long-term fans very emotional “every time that you lose it” and “sing it for the world”. The next track, Planetary [GO!], is brimming with energy from the very start. An anthemic addition to Danger Days, Planetary [GO!] is sure to have you jumping along. With the lyrics, “this planet’s ours to defend, ain’t got no time to pretend” it adds to the theme that the album is a call to arms, from the four lead Killjoys to the rest. The following track, The Only Hope For Me Is You, features noticeable synth and echoing vocals. Jet-Star And The Kobra Kid/Traffic Report is another check-in by Doctor Death Defying, instructing the Killjoy army to “keep your boots tight and your gun close, and die with your mask on if you have to”. The twelfth track, DESTROYA, starts with strange percussion before entering into a guitar solo and Way singing in the nearly-screamy fashion that seems to define MCR. The Kids From Yesterday is the next track, filled with nostalgia and sure to make those hardcore Killjoys (the fans, that is) burst into tears. In fact, rhythm guitarist Frank Iero first heard the completed version of the song in the car ride to see his newborn son Miles for the first time, giving the song more meaning. The lyrics hit home hard, “you only hear the music when your heart begins to break, we are the kids from yesterday”, and are reminiscent of the band’s glory days. Goodnite, Dr. Death is Doctor Death Defying’s final goodbye to the Killjoys, with an instrumental of the national anthem demonstrating the band’s sense of humor.

The Killjoys. From left to right, Jet-Star, Kobra Kid, Party Poison, and Fun Ghoul.
The Killjoys. From left to right, Jet-Star, Kobra Kid, Party Poison, and Fun Ghoul.

The entire album is based off of a post-apocalyptic California, with the Killjoys as the rebel group against the utopian government. Although Gerard Way released a comic book series based off of the album, there is yet to be a movie based off of the alum, epic as that would be.

Unfortunately, Danger Days was My Chemical Romance’s final official album. Their greatest hits album, May Death Never Stop You, features all of the memories held within their best tracks. Many fans have different theories on when the band may return, but they broke up on March 22 of 2013, and there’s been no sign of reunion. Who knows? Maybe MCR will rise from the grave one day. Until then, keep your boots tight and your gun close, and die with your mask on if you have to.

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